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Heart & Vascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders related to the heart and blood vessels. These conditions include heart disease, heart attack, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), congenital heart defects, heart valve problems, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Symptoms of heart disease vary depending on if you are male or female, the type of heart problem you have, and the severity of the condition. To protect yourself, it is important to learn to recognize any symptoms you experience and to be aware of situations that may cause them. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, call your doctor if symptoms occur more frequently, become more severe, or if you experience a new symptom.

Heart Attack Signs & Symptoms

For men, a common warning sign of a heart attack is chest pain. There is often discomfort in the center of the chest that feels like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or fullness. It may last for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. Sometimes it becomes worse with exertion or activity. A heart attack may also occur while at rest.

While everyone is different, women commonly have more vague symptoms. The signs may include fatigue, malaise, weakness, or vomiting. There may be some shortness of breath or wheezing.

Both men and women may also experience discomfort in one or both arms, the stomach, back, neck or jaw. Other symptoms may include cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, or a sense of impending doom.

When experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it may be a sign of an impending heart attack. A highly skilled cardiac response team is ready to treat patients having heart attacks within 30 minutes of arriving at our Emergency Department.

Stroke Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of strokes can be varied but most common are facial drooping to the right or left side of the face; arm weakness or drifting to the side when outreaching arms in front of the body with the palms up; and speech that becomes slurred or garbled.

When the Emergency Department team receives and identifies a stroke patient up to about four and a half hours from the onset of symptoms, they may be able to administer medication that provides a better chance of reversing the symptoms of the stroke. Other specialized techniques to treat stroke are also available beyond that time frame.

STEMI Receiving Center & Primary Stroke Center

Valley Presbyterian Hospital is designated as a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Receiving Center with a specialized cardiac response team for the treatment of heart patients. We are also a certified Primary Stroke Center with a dedicated stroke-focused program to support better outcomes for stroke care, staffed by qualified medical professionals who are specially trained and use advanced technologies to act quickly and save patients’ lives.

If you or a loved one is experiencing an emergency, call 911.

    For more information about our heart and vascular services, contact us at 818.782.6600 or email us by using our contact us page.